There have been blogs, by others, wherein they write all about themselves. They write about their likes, special preferences (such as favorite foods, books, and movies), social relationships, and so on and so forth. Others write about the need to love oneself; they write about the beauty of really caring about oneself (first and foremost).
What is oneself? Most of us, one suspects, were educated to see the self as we were all programmed to see it. This education is often very similar to the education that other countries have stuck to in the past, even the one which Adolf Hitler emerged from (who, by the way, loved himself dearly and who passionately encouraged others to adore him too).
So, what is the self? Is the self an autonomous entity separate from the environment, the whole, the rest of mankind, the animals? When a person says that he knows himself, what does he — actually — know? Is such knowledge a lot of recalled patterns of bygone preferences, tendencies, opinions, images, and methodologies that have occurred in (and “as”) the past? Recalled patterns (of the past) are from the storehouse of memory. Recollections, from (and “as”) that memory, are always old (i.e., of the past), limited (i.e., snap-shot-like), partial, and (therefore) incomplete. Those recollections of self, additionally, are heavily influenced by the past education and culture in which one was raised. One’s fundamental conceptions of self were poured into one (and absorbed) during one’s youth. Recollections and labels “about the self” are always of the past. They are images or linguistic symbols from (and about) “what was.”
Many people feel empowered by an elevated sense of self. Many are enamored about themselves and they write about themselves a lot (either positively or negatively), or they are very obsessed about their physical appearance. However, the self may not necessarily be what society has had each of us accept and take for granted. There is a very good chance that a lot of primitive miseducation has taken place for many years.
Unfortunate is the man or woman whose self is a fenced in, segregated, walled-off conglomeration of past images and symbolic thoughts convinced that a special space isolates what they are (or what “one is”) from the rest of life on earth. Being walled-in is a surefire recipe for depression, no matter how financially fortunate one’s life has been, no matter how wonderful one may (superficially) think one appears physically. To have private dominion apart from the rest of life, as something special and separate, is no cup of tea that real perception is interested in sipping. It may be that real liberation does not come from coddling and worshipping the isolated self, as so many immature and egocentric people tend to do, but (instead) comes about when the self is understood and joyfully transcended. The circumference around an egocentric mind is always limited, primitive, self-concocted via absorbed patterns… and is standardized, mediocre, and regimented. Most people are very immersed in (and “as”) such a circumference; very few of them will care anything whatsoever about prudently going beyond it. A limited, walled-in circumference inevitably brings sorrow. All of the psychological therapy and superficial entertainment in the world will not put an end to that sorrow.
Instead of coming up with notions about “oneself,” go out (for an enlightening change) and perceive without the separative boundaries and isolated perspectives that were implanted in (and “as”) the past. Is the perceiver so very separate from the perceived? Walls of delusion may experience a lot of things; however, walls of delusion will never understand and see the uncontaminated truth and the eternal. Real understanding, bliss, and balance are not of dead limitation, stale recognition, and segregation.
From the poetry of Stephen Crane:
The sage lectured brilliantly.
Before him, two images:
“Now this one is a devil,
And this one is me.”
He turned away.
Then a cunning pupil
Changed the positions.
Turned the sage again:
“Now this one is a devil,
And this one is me.”
The pupils sat, all grinning,
And rejoiced in the game.
But the sage was a sage.
kind to nature
not so many fossil fuels
or be blind
and heartless fossil fools
plant trees grow flowers
nature a blessed event
or view the world through brainwashed lies
cover everything with dead cement
It is important to have a mind and body that (together) work with great precision. Many people do not take great care of their bodies; nor do they delve into the nature and essence of their minds a great deal. Such behavior is often negligence. A body that consumes many foods that are not conducive to good health is operating in a way that is not harmonious, not orderly. Similarly, a mind that is operating with a lot of inner conflicts, resistance, fears, delusional manipulations, and a fanciful administration of power, is not being harmonious nor orderly.
A mind that is a hodgepodge of absorbed (i.e., learned) conditioning consisting of false psychological separation, inner conflict, inner resistance, and spurious (internal) domineering power can seemingly create a meditative silence that it may think is divine. However, a mind full of inner limitations, conflicts, suppositions, and learned attributes can easily deceive itself; such a silence is (inevitably) as limited as the mind that fabricated it. It may be that a truly profound and precise silence is never the product of a calculating mind.
A mind that is aware of itself, each and every day, without the stagnant patterns that society has impressed upon it, may (without effort or spurious inner dominating factors) function with (and “as”) real order, precision, and harmony. Thinking and the thought process is often used by (and “as”) such a mind; however, the thinking process is seen to be the limited tool that it is; the sagacious mind realizes that it need not exclusively cling to that limited domain. There is a cessation of thought/thinking that comes uninvited, that comes unprovoked; it is not the hypnotic, limited kind of fabricated silence that so many unfortunate minds have learned to materialize.
A mind that has profound awareness functions without a fictitious and misleading center (such as the kind that the majority have learned to accept and take as genuine). Most, with that misleading and inaccurate “center” that each takes to be genuine, function — especially internally — with fraudulent space and with fanciful separation. The fraudulent, limited space and fanciful separation are involved with protrusions of thought that are given (false) credit for being the source of power and domination (of the so-called other thoughts). Then, such minds of imprecision think that they can intentionally meditate, creating or concocting a space of true and legitimate silence. Does one see the absurdity of it?… A mind of delusional, distorted separation and fictitious space thinks it can fabricate a true silence (of vast space). What it produces will be an obtrusion (i.e., an extension) of its own inherent disorder and imprecision (and, therefore, will inevitably be of the conditioned and/or false). It is so easy for distortion to bamboozle itself into thinking that it is free, or whole, or divine (when it is not). Only an innocent, honest, truly humble mind (of real clarity and precision) is beyond self-deception.
A mind that examines without the burden of false values and the stale conditioning (of the past) can flower beyond limitation, internal imprecision, and fallacious separation (such as misrepresentation as when, in the mind, the so-called “controller” is misconstrued as being somehow separate from “thoughts seen with psychological distance”). Profoundly intelligent observation must be pristine, uncontaminated, undistorted, and beyond measure. It is very possible for the truly serious mind. Only a mind of real clarity and precision can see and understand the whole.
There was a white faced circus clown
On odd days he would smile
On even days he would frown
He said he wished more people were odd like him
with juggling all the whiles
There was a white faced circus clown
who could easily summersault
He realized that most thought that they were separate
from what they see
but that it was not their fault
There was a white faced circus clown
who earned their whistles and cheers
He helped them leave their troubles behind
though they were not separate
from their fears
There is a little circus clown
with long orange floppy awkward feet
and if you ever meet with him
(who you are too)
you’re in for quite a treat
“I have measured out my life with coffee spoons.” — T. S. Eliot
Most of us are perpetually measuring with the brain. We, so often, compare ourselves or our possessions with other entities (or what they have). We measure time, perpetually, as the past, present, and the future. We endlessly categorize things, label things, analyze things, and recognize things via a series of measurements and sequential paradigms. And, since the observer is really not so separate from the observed… we are what measurement actually is. We think that we are somehow separate from this measurement… but we are not. We are actually what the measurement is. However, life — real life — is so much more than what mere measurement entails.
Many are very proficient at measuring their monetary achievements; some think of little else. Many measure their power. Many measure their day by how much entertainment they experienced. This entertainment, however, is often merely an escape from their own emptiness, their own limited vacancy. Recognition (of things), along with their categorization, is a continuity of measurement. Thinking that you are “in the ‘now'” is a continuity of measurement. Considering possibilities of what the “future may be” is a continuity of measurement. Thinking that you are a separate “controller” with power over “other thoughts” is a continuity of measurement. Trying to be silent (and supposing you are silent) is a continuity of measurement. Calculating the length of your kitchen countertop is a continuity of measurement.
Many of us are perpetually measuring. Is that what life is about? May it be that there is much more to life than mere measurement? Is real love measurable? Is real compassion what can be measured? Is profound insight the result of mere measurement? Can wisdom be measured?
It may be that all measurements, by man, are limited, partial. We have been indoctrinated to frequently use measurement; we have not been encouraged to consider living (at times) beyond mere measurement. We will not be an intelligent divergence away from habitual reactions (with their limitations) if we remain exclusively in (and merely “function as”) measurement. It may be possible to go beyond mere measurement into what may be — all measurements aside — truly unlimited. Does it take a limited amount of time to get there? Of course not.
Meditation — so-called meditation — is often compartmentalized by people to fit into a certain part of their day or week. During a specific time, they then practice what they’ve been taught in order to achieve something. However, the real thing may not be what the two aforementioned sentences shine a light on. The real thing may occur all day long, even as one is driving a car, walking on a wooded path, planting flowers, or washing windows. It may involve watching (without learned separative images or opinions) at the way you talk to others at work, or the way the mind reacts to a hurt creature or mentally sick person. Then the mind is aware… not according to someone else’s blueprint, not according to someone else’s concocted methodology… but just naturally, completely, effortlessly, without mere past conditioning. Meditation is extremely simple, but our complex minds are often too “knotted up” to perceive directly without looking through the contaminated screen of past knowledge. We were brainwashed to perpetually categorize everything, to look with a fabricated space from a learned image (of a supposed central “controller”) at things (via separation). That separation was traditionally inherited or learned. Even when there are no problems, we invent problems to solve. Another thing: we, as so many others, constantly strive to be perpetually entertained. What if we needn’t always be entertained? What are so many using entertainment to escape from? If our inner selves were not so imbued with limitation and stagnation… then maybe we wouldn’t be so disturbed about not being entertained and with facing what we (internally) really are.
Mindfulness, too, has those so-called experts who tell you how to manufacture clever, little tricks in order to keep your mind “mindful.” However, a mind that merely uses procedures from others (and little tricks) to be aware… is aware as a result of something. Profound awareness is not a mere result, however, but hypnosis and being a mere automaton certainly is. The real thing is not what someone can teach you to be, or give you to absorb (or mechanically practice). Real meditation is measureless and beyond conditioning… and what is measureless and unconditioned cannot merely be learned from another. The one who truly meditates does not know that he or she is meditating; nor does he or she care to know. However, in real, whole self-understanding and profound awareness, there is a profundity that negates sorrow, depression, fear, and mechanical mental parroting. There is real bliss when the mind is aware without being in a mold poured by others. However, there is no map or set of procedures (called religious or otherwise) that was devised by others that will really get you there. You have to do the work. And that work isn’t sitting on one’s behind on a superficial mat for 30 minutes, thinking one has achieved something marvelous.